The Next Stage: Social Customer Relationship Management

By Adam Galland

Just as the World Wide Web was a game-changer in how companies do business, so too is the explosion in popularity of social networking. Blogs, user forums, and sites such as Facebook and YouTube all create powerful platforms with which consumers from all over the world can communicate with businesses and each other. Shared knowledge can make or break the reputation of a specific product, business, or service. Fortunately, the more a company knows about its customers’ desires, the more a business can position itself to meet their needs. Enter social customer relationship management (CRM).

According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study, about 60 percent of Americans communicate with companies via social networking, and 85 percent of social media users believe businesses should interact using the medium. Social CRM becomes a collaborative process, in which the customer plays as crucial of a role in the ongoing relationship as the business does. Interacting via social media allows the customers to communicate their preferences to businesses, providing a unique opportunity for companies to discover ways to meet customer needs. With businesses engaging customers in positive experiences, the customers are more likely to share beneficial information with others about such companies. The collaborative approach becomes an ongoing dialogue between the consumer and the company, allowing customers to supply feedback so they can shape their experiences. When businesses effectively meet those needs, the customer becomes an advocate for the business via social media outlets. Ultimately, effective use of social CRM becomes a win-win solution that allows customers to have their wants satisfied while companies grow business through client advocacy.

About the author: Frustration with his customer relationship management service led Adam Galland to develop the Innovative Matrix CRM system with his brother. The two embarked upon years of analysis, research, development, and testing in order to create one of industry’s fastest-growing CRM firms.

Analytics as Part of a Comprehensive Customer Relationship Management System

By Adam Galland, Innovative Matrix

In customer relationship management (CRM), communication is integral to attracting and retaining customers. Nearly every business utilizes some form of CRM, and many have begun automating the process in order to improve efficiency. One of the key aspects to effective CRM is analytics. Accurate statistics and analysis can help companies communicate more clearly with their potential and existing customers, providing information about how to target your message to provide individuals with the information they want to receive in a timely manner.

One company that does this remarkably well is Amazon.com. When customers visit the megastore website, they are greeted by personalized recommendations based on browsing and purchasing history, item ratings, behaviors of other customers who make similar purchases or browse the same items, and many other factors. Personalized offers and suggestions serve to build a stronger relationship with customers when they see items that likely interest them whenever they visit the site. Amazon.com also uses analysis of customer information to provide focused e-mail advertising. Because the e-mails are so closely targeted to customer preferences, they are far less likely to generate an opt-out request.

Effective CRM solutions provide easy to understand customer analysis, allowing businesses to turn data about customer behaviors into actionable initiatives. When companies have a better knowledge and understanding of their clients, their businesses have the ability to offer the services and support their customers need.

About the author: Adam Galland is the co-creator of Innovative Matrix, a CRM firm that allows businesses to work effectively and efficiently with their clients. Adam Galland established Innovative Matrix with his brother in 2004.

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